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!!!!!METH USERS!!!!! The Meth Medicine Cabinet

DO NOT PASS THIS INFORMATION - ADVICED BY METH USERS

The  information provided will help you remain healthier and your body will thank you for it.


Originally posted by ogicepun

Some people want meds to take the unpleasantness away after using methamphetamines. Others want to take “something” to keep from getting the same reactions before using meth. The wiser will be the second group. For those of you who know little or nothing about the upkeep of your body and what meth is doing to it: There is NO magic pill.

Obviously, we can’t cover every condition or medical problem associated with using meth, but we can give you an essential guide to using the basics of vitamins, minerals and even herbal supplements that can be used preventatively, during and after use.

We won’t discuss any chemicals that may be found in other sections of Drugs-Forum dealing with bringing down the high, forcing sleep or in any way induces the body to react in a manner you might like it to. We are not polyusers and don’t subscribe to it. Combining uppers with uppers, or uppers with downers can become quite dangerous—and that is not Harm Reduction.

The use of meth causes a rapid chemical change in the mind and body, and the body reacts to it as a toxin, which it is. Our idea is to reduce the damage caused.

Preparation for a meth session is extremely important. If the body is not ready for this onslaught, the damage comes on faster and with more force. Two things we might not find in the medicine cabinet, but more likely the refrigerator, are the essentials you need, in liquid and solid form.

Keeping the body hydrated is the #1 rule. What does this mean? Simply making sure we have consumed enough water and metabolites, and continue to do so, while meth does its thing. Water is the base liquid, but the addition of metabolites such as potassium and sodium, are critical to maintain your body’s fluid, regulate blood pressure and heart function. Sports drinks are recommended by many.

Once meth enters the body, it’s a fight for survival and blood is routed to the organs that cleanse the body. The blood has to be moving fast—free-flowing—and that means it’s not sticky and dehydrated. Those organs need to remain healthy to do the job at hand and survive while doing it.

Eating. A nutritious diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high protein foods such as red meats will give your body the majority of vitamins and minerals you need to keep you healthy. Fatty foods such as French fries and deep-fried cheese sticks do not contain them.

Hydrating and Eating are your 2 top priorities, bar none.

Now, let’s go see what’s in the medicine cabinet. On the top shelf—the most important one–the first item is Multivitamins (and minerals). Do you really need them? Do you eat 3 nutritiously balanced meals a day along with drinking 3, 8-oz. glasses of homogenized milk, including a good workout regimen in the sun? Most people don’t, and that’s why you need a multivitamin.

Many meth users have asked what kind of a multivitamin they should take. If you research them on the internet, it seems the ratings on each chart are somewhat dependent on who is sponsoring the charts of the best. I’ve looked around, read reviews, and come up with two that actually rate somewhere better than the middle of the charts and aren’t that expensive. Just remember: take one per day, and only one.

For Men: Centrum Silver Men 50+. The experts say you should ignore the “men 50+,” because the combination is correct for any male. These multis don’t contain any iron and you already get enough from your food. Go to the Centrum Silver website and get a $3.00 off coupon for them!

For Women: One-A-Day Women’s contain the amount of iron needed for premenopausal women, in addition to the other essentials you should find in a multi. Go to the One-A-Day Women’s website and get a $1.00 off coupon!

While included in the multis, there is one other vitamin that needs to be increased in the meth users’ diet, as well as those who also smoke cigarettes. It is Vitamin D3. You need vitamin D3 to properly absorb calcium. Meth leaches the body of calcium and it’s vital you maintain blood calcium levels. You also need D3 to help your body continue to build strong and healthy bones all throughout your life. It also can reduce inflammation and hold your immune system in check. The most natural way the body gets Vitamin D3 is from the sun. Milk is also fortified with Vitamin D3. But since you didn’t drink your milk and didn’t go outside to exercise in the sun, you really need these. I take one 5,000I.U. soft gel every day.

The next bottle on the top shelf is Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc. Even though they are already included in your multi (but only at 25%-30% of daily recommended value for Calcium and Magnesium), the way meth uses these minerals up, you really need more. Calcium, of course, builds strong bones, but it also makes muscles move and contract, allows nerves to carry messages, keeps blood vessels throughout the body healthy, and helpsneurotransmitter release! If you know and love dopamine, then you know how really important this is. Unless you are on a heavy fig and rutabaga diet, then you need this supplement.

Magnesium is important for the functioning of your heart, muscles, kidneys, and balancing other nutrients such as calcium and potassium. It also improves blood pressure. Once you know what the deficiencies of magnesium cause, you will ask no more questions. They are: anxiety, weak bones, low energy, weakness, inability to sleep, PMS and hormonal imbalances, irritability, nervousness, headaches, abnormal heart rhythm, muscle tension, spasms, cramps, and fatigue. Now get this—one of the biggest complaints we have—TEETH CLENCHING, or Bruxism, is also a Magnesium deficiency. And it seems the magnesium does a better job resolving it when it has a fresh supply of calcium helping it.

Zinc helps you maintain a healthy immune system and fights infections. (Take note, IV users.) Zinc is necessary for the functioning of more than 300 different enzymes and plays a vital role in an enormous number of biological processes.

What a one-two-three knockout punch these guys have. And only two tablets a day will take care of all these things for just pennies.

Potassium Gluconate. I think I was taking these tablets before meth was invented. Potassium is an electrolyte (along with sodium), which is why I encourage people to use sports drinks, as they are included. The potassium helps regulate (lower) blood pressure and heart function. As you know, when using meth, your blood pressure skyrockets, so why not help curb the possibility of a stroke? As a matter of fact, there was a Harvard study that showed taking potassium supplements along with a diuretic (yeah, give me a couple of those potassiums with a cup of coffee), reduced the incidence of a stroke by 60%. Potassium is what makes our cardiovascular and nervous systems function. I’ve found it also works with magnesium to prevent cramping, and it aids during the recuperation part of your meth escapades.

The tablets contain 595mg of potassium, which is slightly more than the potassium found in a medium-sized banana. Take your pick. Have one of each. But be sure to double that number over the period of a day. Potassium doesn’t stay in the system for a long time. Oh, and one more very important thing: potassium is one of the prime movers, along with zinc, in elimination of wastes. That’s where all of those toxins the body is trying to get rid of are hanging out. And if they hang out inside of you too long, you become a recipient of toxic buildup—not a good thing.

Those, believe it or not, are your “prepping for meth use” essentials. Food, drink, and 4 bottles of vitamins and minerals. And when you look at it, and how complete it really is, it reminds me of prepping for the flu. You know the invader is coming, and you are prepared.

Before we have a look at the 2nd shelf, let me tell you that the supplements industry brings in over $60 billion a year. Once some people start taking them, it becomes almost an…addiction. “Horny Goat Weed sounds good. I think I’ll try that along with the Horsetail Shavegrass.” About $1,000 later and a cabinet full of supplements, these people realize all they are doing is taking supplements. They can’t even remember the last time they cooked a meal. So, let’s not get too carried away and fill the shelf too full.

Another point of view involves human nature. If we make a list of things to take every day that is too long, because of the hassle and time involved, a lot of people will fall out of the program. However, if we have simply the essentials that will do the job, the tablets or capsules can be assembled and swallowed in less than a minute.

My first two personal picks not only are helpful when using meth, but also fulfill a couple of other needs I have. The first is L-arginine. It’s a dietary supplement that produces Nitric Oxide (NO). Nitric Oxide should not be confused with Nitrous Oxide, the laughing gas. But it’s still a gas and what is does is enter the bloodstream and drop off these little bubbles on the insides of the vein walls, stretching them out, making them wider. My primary use is because I have a slight high blood pressure condition, and it allows the blood to flow smoother. But, if you’re a meth user, too, you might have figured out it works against vasoconstriction, or tightening of the veins. Many men cope with vasoconstriction when high. The more meth they use, the tighter the blood vessels, until no more blood can get through to make an erection. Relief is possible with just a couple of capsules a day, two times a day. Also, for IV users who have a difficult time finding veins, I have discovered that as the veins plump a little, they also become more visible in some areas.

The next supplement is HGH Dopa 400, also known as mucuna pruriens. I don’t bother with the HGH (human growth hormone) efficacy as it is small, even if true, but the plant material ground up and put in these capsules is full of L-dopa, a precursor to making dopamine. Now why would anyone want their brains to produce more dopamine? Besides the fact I’m getting a bit old and maybe the dopamine production isn’t as good as it used to be (normal), maybe I just don’t want to run out of dopamine when I’m high and want to stay that way.

The next couple of bottles contain supplements that are popular, and effective.

Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are not produced by the body and naturally are derived from eating fish. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly concentrated in the brain and appear to be important for cognitive (brain memory and performance) and behavioral function. It may also assist in controlling high blood pressure and, in people with Bipolar disorder, reduce mood swings. Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency include fatigue, poor memory, dry skin, heart problems, mood swings or depression, and poor circulation. Daily dosing should be based on the amount of EPA (180mg) and DHA (120mg) acids, not total amount of fish oil.

Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 vitamin supplement, is naturally made in the body, but sometimes (especially with aging) the necessary levels of this enzyme-protein that speeds up the rate at which chemical reactions take place in the body, drop to below what is considered normal. Its main function, however, is as an antioxidant. While many trials have been run, peer reviews have not been overwhelmingly positive, due to the lack of further studies. The antioxidant function of CoQ10 appears strongest in reducing neurological damage or decline, including that of dopamine neurotransmitters. My next door neighbor, who is 80, says this is the closest thing to a miracle drug. Do you want to live that long? My answer is that I take this stuff. Since it is fat-soluble, I take it at the same time as my Omega-3. Daily dosage is 200mg-600mg.

At this point in time, I am satisfied with the above list. The dietary regimen that we started off with, along with these vitamins, minerals and supplements, are really the glue that binds in keeping our bodies whole, especially for the meth user. They are also the most protective and restorative additions we can make without breaking the bank.

There are other supplements that seem to be common with meth users. Perhaps the most often mentioned is melatonin. This is a hormone that is found in all biological organisms, and as such, we know we produce it ourselves, in the pineal gland from the raw material Tryptophan. Melatonin regulates our internal clock and maintains the Circadian Rhythm of our body. But we know what happens when we start using meth. All of a sudden our internal clock is shattered and we are officially on “Meth Time.” Depending on usage patterns and amounts, we find one Meth Day can extend itself past 24, 36, 48 hours and even beyond. At some point, the user may decide to end this prolonged day and get some sleep. But the meth is still active and sleep is hard to arrive.

Melatonin turns off the meth clock and helps reset the body to the biological clock function. It also promotes sleep and affords the body a long restful period, where deep sleep begins and allows the body to start healing itself. Taking the recommended tablets returns the body to normal levels of Melatonin where sleep becomes automatic.

Melatonin is also used by some people along with benzodiazepines; however there is a possibility of creating a benzo dependency with long term use. (As mentioned earlier, I can’t talk about or recommend using uppers with uppers or uppers with downers as there sometimes are consequences that cannot be predicted.) There are also several other chemical interactions with a supplemental dose of melatonin which can reduce the efficacy of other medications you may be taking. It was for that reason, I decided not to use melatonin.

If we were to look at the lower level of the Meth Medicine Cabinet, we also might find other things that might be used. For instance, that bottle ofisopropyl alcohol, which is mostly used to sterilize any areas of the skin that might be met by an IV needle, a broken piece of a glass pipe or other minor cuts and scratches. A tube of Hydrocortisone 1% Cream used to treat itching and small burns, and a tube of Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Neosporin) to be applied on a damaged area to prevent infection are a couple of great first aid musts. Not to mention only accidents that happen when doing your drug, think of all of those times you’ve experienced spun out people pulling things apart, moving things around, falling on their butts and creating minor mayhem.

What’s this bottle? Viagra! For those men who have really serious consequences trying to get their manhood going while under siege from vasoconstriction, a half-tab of this stuff may do the trick. The caution is that it’s trying to relax those veins while the norepinephrine release is doing just the opposite. There’s a tug-o-war going on here that can stress the body, especially the heart.

Yohimbe 2000 is over there in the corner. It’s a natural stimulant, what I call “Poor Man’s Meth.” One of the better features of this herbal product is that it actually acts as a vasodilator, while still stimulating the body. Yohimbe has been known as an aphrodisiac for centuries, which most likely has been based on how it stimulates. Let’s say you are all out of your man-made stimulant but still feel ready to go that extra mile. Using one or two of these capsules may just let you make it to the finish line. But be careful, as there is a very thin line between being good and being bad. Too much of this stuff, and the nausea and other bad vibe reactions kick in, simply spoiling the moment.

Sitting up behind the Yohimbe bottle are a couple of sanitary wrapped prophylactics. They are there as a reminder that meth users, as a group, become a pretty high percentage of people who spread STDs, HIV/AIDS, and other infectious diseases along with assorted cooties, which are not the same as meth bugs.

Below the Meth Medicine Cabinet, there’s a basket full of goodies. Let’s investigate. I see a couple of toothbrushes, some toothpaste and dental floss. I think we’re onto something! Taking care of your teeth and mouth are extremely important, whether a meth user or not. But when meth gets ahold of your mouth, the damage can increase at the speed of light. Next to those items is a big bottle of ACT Restoring Mouthwash, great for restoring enamel and it helps mineral recrystallization on the teeth. Next to the ACT is a bottle of Biotene, a mouthwash specifically made for dry mouth. Meth dries out the mouth and gives you the common “Meth Mouth.” A dry mouth means bacteria can form, causing ulcerations—mouth sores. Biotene also comes in gel form, which is designed to keep your mouth from going dry for 6-8 hours. There’s also a salt shaker and an empty glass. Falling short of the commercial methods, you can always gargle with warm salt water to kill off the bacteria. Just do it more often.

Recommendations—Good and Bad

Here are a couple of items I have seen people recommend, but they come with some advisories. There are many of our multivitamins that are also sold individually as Super Paks or under other marketing names. Let’s take the Vitamin B Complex group as one such item. And I am sure they have some benefits that your multis don’t have. But the fact remains that they are already in your multis at 100% Recommended Values. Before proceeding to take the both, and therefore at least doubling recommended amounts, I would want to research them to see at what level they become toxic.

Here’s another that I see recommended from time-to-time, and for the life of me I can’t understand why, except whoever started this trend did not do their homework. L-tyrosine is abundant in our foods and we get more than enough of it without supplementation. But, it’s also known to convert to L-dopa. And that’s where the research must have ended. They didn’t read how it also produces a lot of norepinephrine, that Dark Knight of Vasoconstriction–that bugaboo of irony created when using meth. But there’s more. It just might be that adding the supplement puts you over the top and actually shuts down your production of dopamine. That’s what L-tyrosine can do in larger amounts.

Some people simply cannot eat when high, due to other conditions they may suffer, or their own body chemistry. There is an alternative in liquid form that you can use to replace the solid food. Many meth users prefer to use protein shakes, such as Ensure.

Before we end this, let’s talk about dosages. More people than I want to imagine must believe that if one tablet is good, two must be better. That is not the case. Even vitamins and minerals have toxic levels. Always read recommended dosages and warning labels on any vitamins, minerals, supplements, and medicines you may also be taking. As I had to remind a friend one time: taking too many vitamins is not going to get you high, but it might get you sick.

There’s still more room in the Meth Medicine Cabinet. Maybe you have something you’d like to recommend. If you have something neat you have discovered and use, then let us know. But just don’t name it. Tell us how it helps your body, if there are any contraindications, and if there are any downsides to using it. You should at least be able to explain this, since you are using them.

QUESTIONS:

Originally posted by life-is-a-very-big-joke


Q:  Could you say anything more about exactly HOW stressful this is on the body? Or just how risky it is? I thought I saw where someone (maybe you?) said they take it a half hour before using. Is that what you would do? Are there different milligrams of Viagra pills?

A: There are a lot of variables involved here: How much meth you have in your system, what your body chemistry is, what age you might be, what physical condition you are in, how badly the vasoconstriction affects you…

I suggested a ½ tab of Viagra to be on the safe side and see if it is enough to make a difference. There have been several remarks on the subject in various threads. Some men use a whole tab of Viagra, some use Cialis, and even without using meth, men who have ED need to do some experimentation to be comfortable with it. I believe there is only one dose amount.

The reason I mentioned taking the Viagra about ½ hour before using meth is to let it do its work, be ready to perform and also reduce the conflict between it reducing blood pressure and the meth increasing blood pressure. It’s easier on the heart. However, some people have reported taking a Viagra after the fact, when the meth has given them dope dick.

Only you can decide what is right for you.


Don’t let Meth destroys ur brain 


druids-fox  asked:

Hello! I'm a solitary wiccan with a kinda specific question. I read your earlier post about the nastiness amoung our community between pagans and wiccans, and i wanted to know what Silver Ravenwolf does to perpetuate this? Are there any prominant figures you believe are fostering a negative environment among the communities?

I love specific questions. They are often really fun to research. 

Okay, I am not a fan of Silver Ravenwolf. She is very problematic for the pagan community in general and Wicca specifically. And while I do not like speaking badly of anyone that has done what they can to further paganism…some of the the things that she has done have been…wrong. 

Now, first let me say that I know that sooner or later every pagan (myself included) is going to throw a piece of misinformation out there. It’s usually accidental. I find this forgivable because most of us have not had formal training and are going off of memory…memory is imperfect. You get the picture. 

So, no…I don’t dislike every pagan who says something that turns out to be wrong. But S.R.W is the Queen of this. Moreover, she has had enough access to some of the most well learned and practiced Priests and Priestesses that paganism has to offer…and she still spreads misinformation and hatred. This, to me, is unforgivable. 

I will explain, I will even have quotes. 

  • “ There is no difference between Wicca and WitchCraft. Anyone who tells you there is a difference is experimenting in the theory of Occum’s Razor.” -SIlver Raven Wolf, The Teen Witch Handbook. 

NO!. Wicca is a religion. Witchcraft is, as the name states, a CRAFT. It is nondenominational. While the two can, and often do, overlap; they are NOT the same thing. She needs to stop perpetuating the idea that if you use magic you are automatically a Wiccan.

Moreover…writing a handbook for Teen Witches is a money grab geared towards people who are just beginning their personal spiritual path and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Why? Because most teens don’t actually know what is and what isn’t a good 

  • “Wicca — It is thought that this term was originally coined by Selena Fox of the Circle Sanctuary in an effort to describe the modern religion of WitchCraft ” -Silver Ravenwolf, The Teen Witch Handbook. 

NO. Rev. Selena Fox is a High Priestess of the Wiccan tradition, an author, and a religious activist on the behalf of pagans of America. She was one of the first non-abrahamic reverends in the U.S. She is one of our most respected High Priestesses and Minister of the Circle Sanctuary (one of the few recognized pagan sanctuaries in America). She is a wonderful person and has done a lot for the pagan community as a whole. But she did not coin the term “Wiccan”. The first modern use of the term Wiccan, was by Gerald Gardner in 1954. Selena Fox was 6 at the time. 

  • “Another name for a solitary witch is ‘natural witch’.” Silver Ravenwolf. Book of Shadows: Solitary Witchcraft

NO. Seriously. A solitary witch is a witch who practices her craft without the aid of a coven. “natural” witch has multiple meanings and I am not a fan of the term at all. 

  • “… the traditional colors for Mayday are red and white representing the blood that flows from the woman when her purity is taken….” Silver Ravenwolf, To Ride a Silver Broomkstick

Oh my fucking god….no. Wiccans do no view the ‘purity’ of a woman as a virginal state. Maiden, Mother, and Crone. It’s not Virgin, Not a Virgin, and Cant Have Kids. This quote actually made me throw out the book. Funny since most people view this work as her least offensive work. 

I also have a problem with the phrasing of this. I find the idea that someone could ‘take’ the virginity of the Goddess as something that borders on blasphemous. Can you use  blasphemous for Wicca? Fuck it…I just did. 

The Great Rite, the act when the God and the Goddess come together sexually to create the new life of the year, is a sacred thing for Wiccans. The God isn’t ‘taking’ anything. It’s a magical moment between Lord and Lady. So fuck of S.R. 

  • “don’t listen to your parents, do whatever you want to - behind their backs if necessary. If your parents don’t understand you, that’s okay. Mama Silver does.” Silver Ravenwolf’s website. 

Okay…stop. I know that a lot of my readers are teens. I know you want to jump right into Wicca and paganism and that parents can be remarkably small minded about what their kids learn and investigate. I know that this can be really frustrating and unfair. It sucks. I’m sorry. But encouraging a teen to lie to their parents is a tacky way to go about this. 

How about encourage teens to be honest, to help people (parents are people btw) understand Wicca, and to stop making Wicca into this naughty, dirty, rebellious thing? It’s a spirituality that needs to be represented well. 

She represents herself as a ‘patron of teen witches’ because she is the “Only one who writes for them”. -SRW website. 

This is very much NOT true. The fact is it is illegal for anyone to talk to children about religion without the parents explicit approval. This includes Christianity by the way. So she is not the only one who cares about teen pagans. What Ravenwolf does is portray paganism as an act of rebellion rather than a spiritual journey that often begins during teen years. 

For all my Teen readers with parents who will not accept their practice. I know what you are going through. I was there. I had books thrown out. I got called crazy. I got told it was ‘just a phase’. Best part about being an adult? I get to practice what I want and my family is fully aware. 

Sorry…random tangent. 

Okay, only kinda sorry. Moving on. 

But you know what? Here are some articles that can state a lot of this for me: 

Here, Here, and Here

Those are three articles by trusted researchers who come from three very different pagan backgrounds who all explain, in their own way, why Silver Ravenwolf is toxic to the pagan community. 

To put it very simply: 

  • Her misinformation
  • Her misleading ‘facts’
  • Her wrong history
  • and more

As for other pagans that I feel are bad for the pagan community….not really. Plenty have made mistakes over the years…but we are a fairly young religion that is spreading very quickly. We have no single book that tells us what the ‘truth’ is. We are all looking for it by sifting and reading the work of others. We do not have a weekly interpreter telling us what to believe. We do not have a government made up of similar religious believers helping incorporate our belief system into their government. 

More tangent…damn. 

But…what I am saying is that we are all going to make mistakes….the real mistake is unappolgetically continuing to make them after you have been informed of your inaccuracies. 

As of late,
I have been finding myself looking at mirrors more,
Taking an extra second to stare at my face,
My forest bark eyes, my ragged nose, my rounded cheeks,
I smile and take in the shape of my teeth,
The chip on my front tooth.

As of late,
I have been staring at myself more in reflections
On rearviews, in windows, on my phone screen
And maybe it has something to do with the weight I’ve lost
Or the extra helpings of salads I have been having,
But maybe the extra second I linger
With my stare, the double-take I do,
Has more to do with the fact that
I see myself for the first time, growing out of the shell
Of a boy that hated his own body.

When I was young I used to pray five times a day
But never worshipped at the temple I lived in
Even now if I hadn’t
Shed those few extra pounds
I think I would still be excited to get out of the shower
And see myself naked
In awe of how happily I have finally grown into my own skin,
A soft expanse of cinnamon,
Warm loam from which the most vibrant flowers can bloom.

Forget the magazines and silver screens
Every website offering the next tip to get slim quick
Or the stupid kids with their jabs and quips,
Pound for pound you are the most radiant creature
To have set foot upon this Earth.
Your shape, your contour, so geometrically unique
There is a plane in which nothing but you exist in.

Order that with extra fries,
Have one more slice of cake,
Take that selfie already,
You are beautiful.

— 

“Take The Selfie, You Are Beautiful” - Nishat Ahmed

I think I’m going to have a lot more poems coming soon about body issues and loving yourself because I have hated my flesh and my skin for two decades too long and I think it’s about time we all started to love ourselves recklessly. 

No matter your appearance, never forget that you are so beautiful.

Louis is staring blankly at his Mac screen when he feels someone move in behind him.

“Don’t,” he sighs, reaching up to run his hands through his already tousled hair. “Just, I don’t know, sit down and help me choose a fucking pram, Liam.”

Liam drags over a stool and sits next to him, close enough that their knees nudge together and he can feel the heat from Liam’s body beside him.

He scrolls down for a few seconds before he switches tabs to where some dude with glasses and an annoyingly smug look in his eyes is comparing different brands and models. He’s been reading about pushchairs for about the last four days, squinting at his phone screen in the middle of the night when he can’t sleep and switching between different reviewers, trying to decide who looks most trustworthy.

Honestly, none of them do. This bloody pram is going to be transporting the most important thing in the fucking world and he can’t make a decision because none of the so-called fucking experts can agree on what the safest bloody pushchair is.

“Bit early for all this isn’t it, mate?” Liam says eventually. He keeps his voice low and soft, and fuck but Louis knows that tone. It’s his Daddy fucking Direction tone, and isn’t that the joke of the fucking century right now?

“My mum reckons the Phil and Ted,” he says.

“Well, she’d probably know, right?” Liam’s voice is teasing, but Louis can’t help the way he tenses up at the tone.

It feels a lot like censure.

“Briane reckons the Bugaboo,” he says like Liam hasn’t spoken. “Says that’s got the highest safety ratings but fuck knows where she got that info from.”

Liam keeps quiet this time, and Louis finds himself rambling to fill in the awkward, terrible silence that’s surrounded him since he had to sit the band down and explain what the fuck was going on. “There’s this one website that Silver Cross is the best one but this other website says iCandy. Like, why can’t they all just agree on the one pram? How are you meant to choose?”

Liam reaches over him and turns the Mac off.

“Hey, I was doing something pretty fucking important here Liam,” Louis says, but the bite has gone from his voice. He sounds tired and young and god, he sounds scared.

“Lou, you’re gonna be a great dad,” Liam says sincerely enough that Louis wants to punch him in his earnest face. Except he also wants to maybe bury his face in Liam’s broad shoulder and close his eyes and pretend he’s 18 again when his biggest worry was making Liam like him and whether anyone would notice that he had the least amount of solos in the band. “The best dad in the world. Maybe even equal with my dad, you know?”

Louis manages to laugh at that, although his throat is tight enough to make it painful. “No way, Liam. Geoff is the dream, you know? No one can live up to that standard.”

“Reckon you will though,” Liam says doggedly. “And Mark. He’s a great dad, yeah?”

Louis blinks a few times before he can let out a croaky “Yeah.”

“You’re not gonna be like him, you know,” Liam says softly. “You’re gonna go to every school play and call every night if you’re not home and your baby will grow up knowing how much their dad loves them, okay?”

“God shut up, Liam,” Louis says shakily. He rubs his hand over his face and he’s so off-kilter that he lets Liam grab his hand and hold onto it, the way he used to do with Liam during his BFF-campaign.

“Alright,” Liam says easily enough that Louis glances over to see a small smile playing on Liam’s stupid lips. “Just wanted to make sure you knew that.”

Louis stares at their linked fingers for a few minutes before he reaches for the keyboard with his other hand. “Either help me pick a bloody pram Liam or fuck off.”

“I already texted my mum, she swears by the Phil and Ted,” Liam murmurs. “That’s two mums, with like, ten kids between them. Reckon that’s good enough for me.”

The cursor hovers over the Phil and Ted image for a moment before Louis clicks, and feels a tiny weight lift off his shoulders.

“Next question then,” Louis says and doesn’t react when Liam squeezes his hand gently. “What colour?”

“Can’t go wrong with black,” Liam says with a shrug.

“Yeah,” Louis mumbles. “Black is good.”

“Durable,” Liam says solemnly. “Hides marks and shit. And you know your kid is going to be a messy brat.”

You’re a messy brat,” Louis grumbles. He’s put the black Phil and Ted in his basket and he’s currently browsing the accompanying umbrellas and rain covers and plastic mugs to fit in the cup holder on the pram. Who fucking knew prams came with cup holders?

He lets Liam sneak his arm around Louis’ shoulder as he leans forward and starts rambling on about the merits of a leather changing bag that makes Louis’ head spin. He not-so-subtly drops his head onto Liam’s shoulder and neither of them mention it as Liam’s hand slips down to his waist and his fingers stroke the warm skin under his shirt.

He thinks maybe he’ll actually be okay, somehow. But he stays where he is for the moment, and lets Liam’s warmth surround him.

2

Welcome back to the Penguin Teen Author Spotlight, where we’re thrilled to be chatting with Richelle Mead, the author of not one but two of our favorite series: VAMPIRE ACADEMY and BLOODLINES (and judging from how many times these books have ended up on the New York Times Bestseller list, they’re two of your favs, too). If you like urban fantasy and Scorpios, you’ll love Richelle, and you’ll definitely love the latest book in the BLOODLINES series: SILVER SHADOWS. Especially if you’ve always wondered what’s been going on inside Adrian’s head, because hello? Hot vampire alert! Read on to find out more!

Name: Richelle Mead

Novel: Silver Shadows

Available: July 29, 2014

Who’s your favorite author, living or dead? Marion Zimmer Bradley, most famous for The Mists of Avalon

What’s your favorite thing about your book? I love that it’s such a mix of emotions. It flips back and forth between some really dark moments and then some truly beautiful romantic parts. You can never get too secure with this book—just when you think you know what’s going to happen, it’ll change on you.

If you could spend one year on a deserted island with one character from literature, who would you choose? Jay Gatsby. I feel like I’d never run out of entertainment with all the stories he could tell. Plus, if there was a way to have a party on that island, he’d find it.

Where do you write? In my office, which is very boring and often very messy. As long as I can get to the keyboard, though, the work can get done.

Who is your favorite hero or heroine of history? Not sure I have a favorite; there are so many I admire! Textbooks are so dominated by men that I’m usually an admirer of any woman who managed to defy her era’s conventions and make into the pages of history: Elizabeth I, Susan B. Anthony, Amelia Earhart, Rosa Parks…the list goes on. So many greats.

Do you tweet? What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever tweeted? I tweet every day! I once tweeted about waiting in a veterinarian’s lobby and hearing a guy demand that his cat be tested for STDs. I don’t think that’s the funniest thing I ever tweeted, but from the reaction it got from my followers, they’d disagree with me.

What is your favorite season? Autumn. I love the colors and the change in the air, as well as how it can be hot and cold within the same day.

If you could teleport anywhere in the known universe right now, where would you go? I’m pretty sleep-deprived at the moment, so I’d settle for teleporting to my bed and getting a solid night of sleep! I’m also crossing my fingers that teleportation technology is honed before my next book tour because that would make things A LOT easier. I’m not counting on it, though.

Do you have any writing rituals? Mostly I just need to warm up before I start writing a book. That may be in the form of posting on social media, answering emails, or small things like that. I can rarely just jump right in to major writing.

What is your idea of earthly happiness? Spending time with family and friends—without stress. That last part’s the key and also the most difficult to achieve! Even when I’m with loved ones, it seems there’s always something weighing on my mind that I’m worrying about getting done. It’d be nice to just hang out without the baggage!

What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? Tori Amos, playing in Kalamazoo, MI in 1993. I’m a huge fan of her work and have seen her many times, but to me, seeing that one when I was fifteen will always stand out in my memories.

What are you currently working on? I’m currently revising The Ruby Circle, which is the sixth and last book in the Bloodlines series.  I’ve also got a couple other projects I’m worrying on that haven’t been publicly announced, so I’m afraid I have to keep that news under wraps a little while longer!

…………

Okay, we hate the suspense, but…we’ll wait. If we can!

For more on Richelle, check out her Twitter and her website.

Add SILVER SHADOWS to your “to-read” shelf on Goodreads!

Order SILVER SHADOWS here!