Today's the day! The day for the end of the Liz Baker series. I feel a bit tearful about this ending, yet it's a good thing, too. These characters, who have been with me for more than a decade, have finally found their endings. Some happier than others.
Once upon a time there was a woman looking for a little hanky-panky fun with her beau. He’d suggested a late night cemetery romp, and she was usually up for anything and everything. However, that was the one thing she should have declined. Like most spur-of-the-moment decisions, it forever changed her life with that one acceptance.
Yeah, I’m that woman. That was the beginning of my half-vampire lifestyle change. It wasn’t a choice, more of a forced acknowledgment, but it changed everything I thought I knew about myself and the world around me.
It’s been a rough few years around here. The last several months being the worst of all. We’ve fought monsters and lost friends. I’ve been kidnapped—I don’t even know how many times—drugged, bashed over the head, beaten, bitten, and called a whore more times than I can count.
On the plus side, I’ve gained a chosen family tighter than my blood one ever was. We’ve gained and strengthened new powers to aid us in defeating anything that comes our way. I’ve even amassed a small collection of mystical jewelry. A pendant and a ring with enough energy to enhance my powers into something deadly enough to destroy a creature as strong and old as The Master, at least in theory. Who else could say such a thing? And then there’s my two extremely unnaturally sexy men. Yes, two! Mmm…
Chad Langford has been the love of my life for a while now. Tall, muscular, quiet, strong, and resilient, he used to be a cop, and when that ended, he became security in my old bar. He stands by me no matter what I do, and doesn’t flinch at the stupid shit I say from time to time. He recently gained the power to control wind and joined my coven of paranormal creatures. It didn’t make him any less human, but prevented me from worrying so much about his safety.
His love for me is on a deep level. We get along. Laugh together. He doesn’t tease me too hard, though I’m was happy to take it. We make each other smile more often than not. Our love is a forever kind of love. I want to protect him, and he cann’t imagine not protecting me. And don’t even get me started on the bedroom side of things. Mmm… Times two!
Montgomery Carson is completely different. We first met when he was my hired pilot for my inherited personal jet. It was my first time flying—which he got a kick out of—but it wouldn’t be the last time.
Monty is a werewolf with an attitude problem. He used to be some sort of special ops military guy with a team of soldiers who would die for him if need be. He gained loyalty by being the powerful leader who always put his people first. But now he used those skills and connections to keep us safe from all the monsters outside our growing family.
We started out as friends, but our relationship quickly transformed the moment his brand marked him as part of my coven. A deeper connection grew between us until he couldn’t accept that I wouldn’t be with him. My attraction to him was more of a deep, soul-connecting need rather than something merely physical. I couldn’t live without him, and when it came down to choosing Chad over Monty (which I did, over and over), the two men thought it best for us to become more of a threesome. It was unconventional, but then again, we were an unconventional kind of family.
Over the last few months, our lives as a united threesome haven’t really changed much from before we made the decision. The dynamic was still the same, only now Monty felt more comfortable touching me in front of others. Chad joined the coven and understood the connection more than he ever could before, erasing the jealousy between the two men. Making it even easier on me. Less frustration, anxiety, and worrying over hurting their feelings, and more time loving them fully. And let me just say: the sex is amazing!
As for the rest of my family, it has grown larger than just the five of us with powers. Camilla, a demon, has hooked up with my newest friend, Mack. They make a unique couple, with him being human and her being some sort of dangerous, sex-crazed, leather-skinned creature with a tail. She could cut a throat with the flick of her wrist, or the swipe of her tail. However, he was fantastic at managing the estate, which he took upon himself to do with no prodding from me. Thankfully so, since I’d hoped he would take on the role. That was his profession, and I was tired of people asking me to run to Sam’s Club for toilet paper, or where the plungers were. Why did they always think I knew?
Rick and Amanda Lou settled into a quiet existence around the estate. With The Master nowhere to be seen, and no other baddies hitting us up for a fight in the recent months, I’d see them going on picnics, cuddling in the garden, whispering sweet nothings at the breakfast table, or just disappearing for days at a time. I could always tap into the mental connection with Amanda if needed, but I left them be for as long as this lasted.
My half-sister, Aimee (fathered by our vampire sperm donor, Gregory), recently married her love, Murphy Donovan. If anyone deserved happiness, it was Aimee. I hoped to erase her miserable childhood, timid personality, and terrorizing memories of Gregory forcing her to try to kill me while he impregnated woman after woman to create his very own army of vampire halflings, none of which had the powers of his firstborn—me.
Murphy, eternally devoted to Aimee, wanted to love and protect her. He was one of Monty’s loyal soldiers, but he’d defy any order given if it meant danger would come to his beloved. And to think I suspected he had ulterior motives when he came into the picture, due to how quickly he hooked up with Aimee. This was a moment where I’m grateful I was wrong.
Aleksy started out as the Skinless Skull Man, trying to kill me in my nightmares. He was a monster chasing me on horseback every time I closed my eyes after that night in the cemetery. In a past life, a witch had tasked him with killing anyone who had the powers of the Wheel of Being, so it was my turn. In the end, we created an alliance, thankfully. An acceptance of mutual survival.
I—with the help of my coven and a three hundred-year-old Gorgon witch—pulled him from his eternal afterlife with the promise of him helping us destroy The Master. He taught us how to use our powers with strength and assurance. We learned to channel all five powers into something capable of blowing anything to smithereens. He’d gone from enemy to friend, and I was grateful for his willingness to stick around and help.
And that just leaves me. I’m not doing great. I’ve had a difficult time with Morgan’s death, and Micheal coming close to death. Knowing all this pain was my fault was hard. It ripped my heart to shreds and pulled me deep down into a depression. The guys did their best to cheer me up, and sometimes it helped push the darkness to the back of mind for a little while, but the pain always returned.
Unbearable anguish had me in tears regularly. Some days, I stayed in bed well into the night. Then I roam the mansion for hours. It’s become a serious problem. Sleep is fleeting; nightmares terrorize my mind. Even Hamish raised his concern at my decrease in food consumption. The others voiced their desires to help me, but I didn’t know what they could do. All the self-help books say is it would take time, but how much time?
My family repeatedly assured me none of this was my fault, but that’s not what my mind tells me. I hope things improve, but the ominous feeling of incoming disaster was almost too much to bear. Would they be safer without me? They refused to consider the possibility, but that didn’t stop my mind from rushing to the time I’d spent away from them in The Master’s castle. At least I knew they were safe from him while I was there. Yet, I couldn’t force myself to give in to his demands that I stand by his side. Even my family wasn’t worth risking the entire world for.
It was mostly a peaceful time at the mansion, but everyone knew it wouldn’t last. The Master and his minions were still out there. We still had James, his right-hand man, locked in our basement, refusing to entertain the thought of spilling The Master’s secret whereabouts. Chad and Monty had worked him over many times, but the man remained loyal to his leader. He’d been loyal for over a thousand years, so the last few weeks were nothing to him.
Unfortunately, his usefulness was wearing thin, and I didn’t know what to do next. His fate was yet to be determined. As were all of ours. Only time would tell where we’d end up. I just hoped it was on the side of good. However, with my life, one could never be certain.