Sunday at the Ranch
OOC Farewell…

Almost 18 months ago, I stumbled into True Blood role play. It was really by accident, but I haven’t regretted on moment since I’ve been here. Breana started out her twitter life in Monroe, LA. She was a werewolf, new to the area. In a few weeks, she, @BitterDeviant, and @WereBraiden moved in together. They were the first members of Breana’s little twitter family and I’m happy to say that her family has grown significantly over the past 18 months.

Each member of Breana’s family is very important to both her and to me as the person behind the character.

Breana has her adoptive parents, Mom, Mum and the Dads. They have been there for me both IC and OOC since the beginning and I love them for their support and love when Breana or I needed it.

Breana’s biological father, Patrick, was introduced with the feeling that Jason needed to meet her family. Somehow, Patrick developed into his own character in a matter of weeks. I cannot thank the person who agreed to play him enough. *grins* If y’all only knew! I adore this person’s other persona as well, so I felt honored when he agreed to spend some time playing Breana’s Dad.

I have sisters galore, Elfie, Caroline, Lizzie, Lina, Kayden, Brandee, Tammy Jo, Satin, Robin, Chloe, Mack, Ryder, Kai, and Laurana. Each is so special in their own way and I adore them all. I feel thrilled that Breana was accepted by each and everyone and have enjoyed all the time with them. I love them completely IC and OOC.

Breana’s niece, Jules. Luckily, I had the opportunity to meet Jules during a trip with Brandee. She is an amazing person and I love her to pieces! Jules, I can’t wait to see you again!!!

Of course, Breana has her Nestmates. Stan, Layla, Isabel, Aislynn, Elfie, Celly, Lizzie, Barry, and Jason. I never expected her to become part of a Vampire’s nest, especially since she is a werewolf. When Stan asked Bree to join the nest in September, 2009, I was thrilled. Not only did it bring Breana to Dallas, but it brought Breana and Jason closer. The nest has had its trials and tribulations, but they are as much a family as any real family. Because of  Breana’s affiliation with the Nest, I have gotten to role play with some wonderful characters, MeeMaw, Portia, and Luke. Each has made me laugh hysterically many times. Breana will always be Luke Ryan Preston Godmother.  Nestmates forever!

I could never forget Ammerie and James, perhaps Breana and Jason’s closest friends. Watching their relationship grow, their wedding, and the addition of our Zorse, Dahlia to the family were just a few of the joys I shared with Breana as her friendship grew with Ammerie and James. I tend to think of Ammerie and James as family. Breana and Jason would have never given Nessa to Ammerie’s alter ego if it weren’t for that trust.

I have to give a special thank you to @SheriffNorthman. I will never forget Breana as the blushing bride and her discussion with the Sheriff about how she and Jason ended up on the naughty list. Both Sheriff Northman and his writer have made me laugh so many times.

Breana has many friends, all very important.  I wish I could list them all, but they are numerous. Just know that Breana would have given anything to each and every one of them. Her heart was big enough for all of them. Each and every person Breana calls a friend will always have a place in her heart. I want to thank each of you for accepting Breana and me. I have to say I’ll consider many of you lifelong friends.

And last, but certainly not least, Jason.  Both Jason and his writer made me feel welcomed in this crazy True Blood twitter world. I have to say that meeting Jason was the best thing to ever happen to Breana. I’ll never forget their first date, Holly and Trevor’s BBQ. Jason helped Breana grown in ways I never imagined. They have their own little crazy, but incredibly happily life in the world of True Blood Twitter.

Jason’s writer has made me smile, laugh, cry, and has supported me through some tough times and for that I can never thank his writer enough. I will miss tweeting with you and I will always remember how much fun I had role playing your wife. Breana and Jason’s love warmed my heart time and time again and I hope that you have felt the same.

I never imagined I’d be able to sit down and write pages upon pages for stories related to Jason and Breana’s stories, but I have and I’ve enjoyed every minute.

But as many of you know, my real life has changed dramatically over the past few months. I am running out of spare time and thus I have less time to role play. I want to spend my free time with my family and in the great outdoors, hiking and exploring.

As for Jason and Breana, imagine they are living happily ever after with Nessa and Liam in Dallas, enjoying life to the fullest. It’s the best way I could imagine leaving them.

It’s been an amazing experience and I will never forget all the fun I’ve had and the friends I’ve made. If you are interested in following my real life account, please DM me. Otherwise, best wishes to every one of you. I love y’all!

Special thanks…I wish I could list every single person…but there just isn’t enough time left before 2012 to thank y’all…

Special thanks to a few…I’m sorry if I forget anyone, just know that y’all are very special and I love ya!

Lacey, Hadley, Matt, Pixie, Charles Twining, Jacinta, David, Alyx, Natalie, Bobby, Sixx, Petra, Gail, BenJo, JasonStckhouse, Sookeh,  Claudine, Arlene, FaerieRebel, Jezzy, Evelyn, Steve Newlin, Hallow, Sun, Breeze (Wondertwin), Liz,  Ana and Tabbi,  Natalie…

This is not a break…this is goodbye…*Blows kisses*

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Year’s end

This year was coming to a close and Breana sat on the sofa, her journal resting in her lap, the condo quiet. Jason was on his way home from Web of Magick and Nessa and Liam were asleep in their cribs.

Breana tapped a pen against her cheek as she contemplated what to write. Her journal had always been the place where she poured all her thoughts and all her worries, but for the first time in her “new” life, Breana had no worries. She was relaxed and incredibly happy. She and Jason had just spent an amazing few days with the twins and with her father and she couldn’t wait for the future.

Originally, Breana would have been content with just one day with the twins, but now, she knows she could never give them up. She and Jason need to keep a low profile and they’d found their own way to protect themselves with a simple wish.

So, Breana put her pen to the paper.

As I sit here, I cannot believe I could ever be so happy. I’m married to the man of my dreams. I have the most beautiful children and they are home for good.

Somehow, Dad and I are tolerating each other. I think I have Marina to thank for that. I’m not sure what’s going on between those two, but Dad’s temper has calmed significantly and he actually looks happy. I don’t ever remember seeing him with that look on his face.

In just a few days, Liam and Nessa have brought Jason and me such joy. I know that having them far from us was the right decision, but I never stopped to consider what it might do to Jason and me. When we handed our beautiful babies to Ammerie and Aillen, I think part of our hearts and souls disappeared with them, but now that they are with us again, I feel whole.

The haunted look I had seen on Jason’s face for the past year is gone. He’s free from it all.  And his magic is back!

I don’t see the haunted look in my eyes anymore either.

We took the twins to see Grandpa Stan and Aunt Layla right after Christmas. I think we actually surprised the King of Texas. I wasn’t sure that was possible. Liam and Nessa adore their Pop Pop Stan and Patrick actually didn’t give me hell over it. He seems resigned to tolerate my life.

And Patrick survived his first full moon as a wolf. I think the whole experience, being able to run free gave him perspective.

I’m so glad that when I made this wish I didn’t put a time frame on it, because I want our perfect little family together forever. Thank goodness Jason figured out that Long Life potion.

Breana drops the journal and pen when she hears the twins stirring. 

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When you wish upon a star…

Breana leaned against the door frame watching Liam and Nessa as they napped. In truth, she was afraid to take her eyes off of them for fear they might disappear. Jason slid his arm around her waist, resting his chin on her shoulder. “Hey Momma…How are ya?” She could hear the smile in his voice.  “I’m…I’m… absolutely perfect.” She answered before turning and wrapping her arms around his neck. “Don’t wake me up if this is a dream. I want to stay here forever.” Breana closed her eyes, listening to the rhythmic sound of the twins’ breathing. She felt his cool lips press against her forehead. “I want the same thing Babe, but let ‘em sleep.” He gently pulled her away from the Nursery and into the living room. “Maybe we should clean up this mess.” He laughed as he gathered up wrapping paper. Breana looked around the living room at all the toys. She had purchased them with the intention of sending them to Ammerie and Aillen, but Jason convinced her not to. He felt they shouldn’t have any contact with the twins, but at this moment she was grateful for his foresight.

Breana and Jason quickly cleaned the clutter, stacking the twins’ toys under the tree before resting on the sofa.

Jason pulled Breana into his arms, holding her tightly as he rested back on the sofa. “Babe…” He pressed a kiss to her forehead, the tip of her nose, and finally her lips. Jason yawned, pulling his wife on top of him, gently resting her head on his shoulder. “I love you Breana.” Jason closed his eyes and drifted into a light sleep.

After several minutes, Breana heard a quiet knock on the door. Regretfully, she pushed away from Jason and stood up to answer the door.

As she opened the door, surprise crossed her face. Standing in the hallway were Patrick and Marina; each had an armful of Christmas gifts. Breana smiled and opened the door wider. “Dad, come in. Marina,” Breana paused to hug the mermaid turned human. “Merry Christmas!”

Marina and Patrick placed the gifts under the tree quietly as they noticed Jason sleeping on the sofa.
Breana placed her finger against her lips before taking Patrick’s hand and leading him to the twins’ Nursery. “Dad…You wanted to meet your Grandchildren/” Breana lifted her hand, pointing to the nursery, biting her lip. Patrick slowly entered the nursery, a look of awe on his face. “Munchkin,” He said softly, using her childhood nickname, “How?” Patrick traced his finger along Nessa’s face before  turning to look at Liam.
“I thought you said they were safer away,” His eyes were bright with excitement. He scooped up Liam carefully. Liam stirred slightly before snuggling up to his Grandfather. Breana picked up Nessa, resting the sleeping baby against her shoulder. Marina stood in the door way watching Patrick interact with the sleeping children a faint smile crossing her face.

Breana couldn’t contain her excitement as she walked out to the kitchen and picked up the now empty vial that had contained faerie dust, her father and friend following behind. Patrick ,in shock ,and Marina, quietly contemplating what she had just seen in the Nursery, both launched into questions when they saw the vial in Breana’s hand.

As Marina and Patrick turned to sit at the bar, Jason yawned and sat up. “Babe?” He asked quietly, frowning slightly when he saw Patrick holding Liam. Just as Jason was about to voice his opinion about their guests, Patrick interrupted.

“How is this possible Daughter?” Patrick asked as he stared in awe at Liam. He turned his attention back to his daughter, a brilliant smile on his face.

Breana leaned against the counter, twirling the vial on the end of the chain. “I think…it was this. Or at least what was in it.”

“I made a wish…” Breana pressed a kiss to Nessa’s warm forehead, leaned back against Jason as his arms encircled her. 

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Our Christmas Miracle

As the sun was crossing the horizon, Breana was in the midst of a beautiful dream. She and Jason were walking hand in hand through a castle ruin in Ireland. Jason was regaling his wife with stories of the time he spent here when the castle was brimming with life. As they rounded the corner of the castle, laughter once again filled the castle grounds. Breana squeezed Jason’s hand and knelt down, opening her arms, laughing loudly as Liam and Nessa barrel into her. She wrapped her arms around the toddlers, picking them up and transferring Nessa to Jason’s waiting arms. Both children peppered their parent’s faces with sloppy kisses. Breana and Jason kissed the babies heads and made their way to the waiting picnic basket and blanket sitting in the middle of the open field.

Breana smiled as she slept, her head resting on her husband’s bare chest. In her dream idled state, she pulled her body closer to her husband’s, tangling her limbs with his.

As Breana’s mind lifted from her dream state, she felt reality creeping back in. Her conscious mind once again forcing the unkind reality into her thoughts.

She drifted at the edge of sleep, inhaling her husband’s scent, letting it calm her as it always did.

Just as Breana resigned herself for more sleep, she heard crying from the room down the hall. She sat up in bed, heart racing. The cry was familiar, “It’s Nessa.” Breana whispered and threw the covers off. One cry becomes two cries and Breana startled Jason awake as she climbed over him.


“Babe?” Jason asked as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “What’s wrong?” Jason’s eyes grew wider as he heard the crying. “Wha…” Jason cannot finish his thought as he watched his wife running down the hall, wearing only a t shirt and underwear. She stopped outside the guest room, her hands clasped over her mouth.  As she’s standing in the door way, the crying ceases and Jason heard soft voices say “Momma” over and over. He can see the tears streaming down Breana’s face from his position in bed.

Jason scrambled out of bed, hurrying after her, an expression of pure shock on his face. Sleep driven from his body, his senses on high alert.

He stepped to stand behind his wife, his arms wrapped around her chest. “Liam…Nessa…” Jason whispered his voice hoarse with emotion.

“Dada,” the twins sang in unison, smiling as they stand in their cribs, bouncing and waiting for their parents to pick them up.

Breana moved forward, her legs moving of their own volition. Her arms reaching out, pulling Nessa from the crib. Until Nessa was in her arms, she was convinced the twins were an apparition, just ghosts sent by Judith to play with her and Jason’s minds. But…Nessa was real; her scent was fresh in Breana’s mind, even though she hadn’t held Nessa in almost a year. Breana turned to see Jason plucking Liam from his crib. The guest room had been magically transformed into a nursery. It was exactly the way Breana had imagined she’d decorate it as she daydreamed the hours away in the rainforest.

She was brought back to the present when Nessa tugged on her hair. “Jason…What’s happening?” She instantly worried that at any moment this incredible feeling would be ripped from her heart and the twins from her life once again.

Jason shrugged, unable to keep the look of amazement of his face. “Our babies…” He grinned Breana’s favorite crooked grin. “I think our babies are hungry.” He laughed as Liam gummed his cheek.

Breana and Jason walked slowly out to the living room, feeling a lightness they haven’t felt since the twins’ birth.

Miraculously, two high chairs were against the kitchen wall, as if they belonged there. Breana was afraid to let go of Nessa for fear she might disappear, but she felt like she needed to dress more appropriately.

She slid Nessa into her high chair, kissed her again before kissing Liam’s head. Breana pulled Jason to her and kissed him forcefully. “Let me get dressed Baby…” She ran from the room and as she pulled a pair of yoga pants, her eyes caught a sparkle on her night stand. “Rebie’s gift” Breana picked up the vial and walked out to the kitchen to find Jason standing in front of the open pantry, staring at jars of baby food.

“Merry Christmas Baby” She grinned as she placed the vial on the kitchen counter in front of Jason.

“I think we’ve got our Christmas miracle.”

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A Simple Wish…

Breana is feeling overwhelmed. Her father, Patrick, is in Dallas. They had never had an easy relationship. Most days, they ignored one another, but the recent trip home to introduce Jason to Patrick had caused a series of events leading to Patrick’s visit. One unfortunate dinner, one full moon and one bite have bonded Breana and Patrick in ways she could never have imagined.

Breana let her anger carry her away after dinner and Patrick’s haughty attitude pushed her beyond unspoken boundaries. Anyone who may have witnessed the exchange would most likely felt that Patrick was deserving of the bite. Insulting Breana’s husband and their life together and the mention of grandchildren was too much for her to handle.

Now, as she sits up in bed, she can’t help but wish for one normal day in her life. One day, in which, she could have a semi-friendly relationship with her father. One day when she could be a mother to the twins. One day when she and Jason could enjoy being parents to their children and not fear the consequences of their birth.

As she leans against the head board, drifting in a land of beautiful day dreams, a memory tugs at her subconscious. If only there was a way, she would be content with one day as a family. Breana sighs softly and reaches over to the night stand, opening the drawer to pull out her journal. Picking up the book causes several small items in the drawer to shift and Breana spies a small vial of faerie dust, a wedding gift from FaerieRebel. Instantly, the memory surfaces, Rebbie, as Jason calls her, handing Breana the vial, offering one wish.

She picks up the vial and holds it up to the light. Her husband is sleeping soundly at her side, his arm wrapped around her thighs. She smiles and reaches down to brush a stray curl from his cheek. His face showing none of the stress felt by each of them with Patrick’s visit to Dallas.

Breana contemplates the vial once more; hesitantly she pries the cap off the vial, wrapping the chain around her hand. She ponders the appropriate use of the faerie dust and in a moment pure uncertainty, Breana sprinkles the faerie dust over her and Jason, whispering, “Please let us have a normal life…” She laughs quietly, already knowing that being a were married to a faerie doesn’t exactly lead to a normal life.

She unwraps the chain from her hand, waiting for something to change, for something to feel different.

After several minutes, Breana sighs with discontent. She drops the vial on the night stand and slides down in the bed to cuddle with her husband. Her last thought before drifting into a deep sleep was simple. She mumbles, “I believe.” Breana rolls to her side, spooning with Jason.


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Born for this {OOC posting}

For those who don’t know the person behind Breana Bik (or Bree as I like to be called), I am a nurse in real life. I have dabbled in various specialties, Labor and Delivery, Cardiac Tele, and Intensive Care. Almost 5 years ago, I discovered how much I love ICU nursing. I’ve worked in a large academic medical center, in Las Vegas {that was an experience!}, and a large tertiary medical center. Although I am particularly interested in the Neurosciences, I enjoy providing care to all patients.

If you happen to follow my real life account, you would know about my crazy weekend at work. One thing you need to know about me, I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I was 4 years old. I never changed my mind…I experimented a little in college by taking a premed course, but after listening to an intern talk about her 36 hour day…and looking at the wreck that she was, I firmly made my mind up… Nursing it was.

To paraphrase Breana’s husband, Jason Bik, being a nurse is hard. It’s emotionally draining, physically exhausting, and takes an ocean of patience some days. Although I’ve always wanted to be a nurse, some days test my belief and I truly wonder if I am right for this job.

Weekends like this past one in particular. In the ICU, we typically care for two critically ill patients, some days are harder than others, but we have a saying in nursing…All I can say is that I kept them alive for my shift, I didn’t provide any care, I barely got my vitals documents…and I didn’t have a chance to provide basic care, but I kept ‘em alive…just barely.

The shifts flew by…yesterday was a little better than Saturday. We had extra staff, so while one of my coworkers traveled with my other patient, I took the opportunity to do what I didn’t have the chance to do the previous day. I provided the basics. I bathed my patient, washed her hair, helped her brush her teeth, and massaged her back, several times. I quickly became her favorite nurse. Every time I asked about a massage, she gave me a smile that brighten my day.

I had the privilege of providing care to this amazing person and her incredible family. I have never met someone with such conviction and faith in her beliefs. Her illness hit close to home for me due to its hematology basis and I think helped me to bond with the family. Unfortunately her condition is incompatible with life without the treatment which she refuses. I have been firm with the family regarding her condition, but I have also been proactive and called organizations all over the country in an attempt to find something, anything that can help, but came up empty handed.

Today, as I was preparing to leave, the patient’s son; a tall drink of water, stepped out of the room to say goodbye. He had been praising my care consistently over the past 3 days and although I felt guilty about not providing basics on Saturday, I know that I played a huge part in keeping her alive, a huge feat. When I told her son that I would not be working tomorrow, He asked if he could give me a hug. I was surprised by his request, but granted it none the less. Although I was his mother’s nurse, I needed to provide support to a family that would be losing their mother in a matter a minutes to days. I realized how tall he actually was when he put his arms out and fold me to his chest…I am tall, 5’ 10’’ and I only came to his chest. As he squeezed me tight, tears streaming down his face, he whispered “You gave Mom dignity, respect and peace. That’s all I can ask at this point. I will never forget you and your outstanding nursing care.” A minute later, he laughed and told me to bill him for the psychiatric counseling I provide him over the past three days.

Nursing is far more than completing tasks. A nurse provides care, assesses, advocates for the patient and their family, listens to amazing stories, stories that would bring tears to your eyes, sets boundaries to decrease the drama, provides support for not only the patient, but the family…in this case…well over 30 family members strong at the bedside. Nurses stand in the center with the patient, organizing the care between multiple physicians and consults, departments. We are the one holding the patient’s hand as they cry tears of joy, frustration, fear, sadness, angry, denial. We experience every emotion over a course of a day. I’ve been punched, scratched, bitten. I’ve had a gun pointed at my head. Although I have all this experience, I learn something new every day and I am grateful for this.

A simple hug has once again reminded me that I was born to be a nurse. Thank you for taking a few minutes to read. 

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Wanna Be a Scooby? Seeking Writers/Role-Players

Seeking role players that are motivated by telling great stories. Group will form a team of characters that are based in Dallas tied together by fate and friendship. Their stories will take place in a world described by Charlaine Harris in the Southern Vampire Mysteries. The meeting place and base of operations will be the Web of Magick shop that caters to the suburbs surrounding the University of Texas at Dallas. The premise of the group is that they are drawn together to solve supernatural crimes, bust ghosts, exorcise demons, hunt down rogue vampires, etc. While many story lines will expand upon this basic premise, other stories can be told as well. As a group we will propose and role play original story lines. While each member of the troupe should have a “main” character, each member must be willing to role play supporting cast characters as required. 
Players and characters accepted into the troupe will be expected to adhere to a few basic principals:

* Respect your fellow role players
* Don’t take anything that occurs during role play personal
* No Mary Sue characters allowed. Flawed characters are the best characters.
* Actions must have consequences: Players may only protect their main character from permanent death. Secondary characters, even (and perhaps especially) popular secondary characters may have to die for the good of the story.
* No god-modding unless agreed upon in script or between players.
Anyone interested, please contact @BreanaBik (BreanaBik@gmail.com) or @FaerieBik (FaerieBik@gmail.com). Requesting to join the troupe must be accompanied by an outline that describes a story line that introduces your character. Admittance into the group will be determined by a majority vote by the current members. The only exception is that @BreanaBik and myself can block the admittance of a new member if we both agree. We will continue to admit new members until we reach a size of 4-6 members. In the future we might allow a larger cast, but for now this is the maximum size.

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*email left unfinished and unsent*

Dad,

I don’t know how to start this email. First, I’m sorry I missed your birthday. I’ve never done that before and I feel horrible. I really have nothing to say for myself except that I didn’t think I could hear the worry in your voice.

I have so much to tell you, but I don’t think email is the best way to do it. 

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@BarrytheBellBoy *sending email*

Barry,

I don’t know if you will ever get this letter, but I know I had to write it.

Stan has plans for the nest and although we might not always understand what our futures hold, know that we will be here when you return.

You have left your entire life behind and I know how difficult it is to leave everything behind. Jason and I understand your predicament.

Know that I will always be here for you, please contact me if you need anything. We will always be your family, your nest.

 

Take care,

Breana

 

OOC: I’ll really miss RPing with you…know that you can always contact me…Miss you lots! *hugs, hugs, hugs*


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Memories linger.

Thomas circles Malinda like a predator would circle its prey. She is standing near the exit, hoping to escape at any moment. In minutes, Julius will ask her to stand by his side as he announces their engagement to society.

Malinda is lost deep in her own thoughts. She was standing by the stream again with Sir Thomas’ lips against her lips. She could hear the birds singing a song just for the two of them.

Malinda stirs as a hand presses into her back. “Ms. Addison, would you step outside with me for one moment Please?” She turns to see Sir Thomas at her side. “Thomas,” She pleads “Please, not now, I do not have time.”

Thomas smiles broadly as he turns Malinda and escorts her outside, unnoticed. “Do not fret, my dearest. Mother has Julius occupied for the time being.”

Malinda is silent as Thomas leads her to a secluded, dark area, not far from the exit. He slides one arm around Malinda’s waist, brushing her cheek with his thumb.

“Malinda,” He breaths softly as he moves in for a kiss, “I think tonight is not the night to speak to Julius. Make your announcement and we will speak with Julius privately. You and I will be married and we will return to my family home in Atlanta.” 

His touch alone causes Malinda to pink. His kiss seems to set her on fire. She gently pushes Thomas away. “We must tell Julius. I cannot wait another moment. I cannot bear to see Julius hurt.” Her eyes implore Sir Thomas. “Please Thomas, we musn’t”

Thomas silences her with another kiss; she feels her resolve giving way. Malinda is left gasping for air when Thomas finishes with her. “Not tonight my love, but soon.” He brushes a soft kiss against her lips and whispers “Go inside my love, to your betrothed. He will be waiting for you.”

Malinda whimpers as she steps around Thomas, feeling the flush on her cheeks. Never before has she felt a want like this, a need so strong.

Malinda returns to the ball, curtseying to her father as he glares in her direction. “Malinda, what foolishness have you gotten into?” She steps to his side, head down, cheeks burning. “Father.”

“My daughter, it is nearly time. You should be at Julius’ side. Now…” Her father narrows his eyes, “to his side.”

Malinda nods and moves to stand beside her fiancé, attempting to pull herself together. Julius offers his arm as she enters his vision. As she slides her arm into his, Julius turns to take in the sight of Malinda. “My love, you are radiant. The flush on your cheeks draws me in.” The bored, vacant face is replaced with a slightly wild look for a brief second before the vacant stare returns. “Will you accompany me to the music room, for I have a question to ask of you?”

She smiles and tilts her head, “A question of me, dear Julius?” Malinda searches the room for her parents…and for Sir Thomas.

Thomas is standing with her parents, a somber expression on his beautiful face; her parents are beaming proudly as they know the announcement will be made shortly.

Julius guides Malinda to the piano bench, in the music room, where he sits beside her and takes her hand.
“Malinda, I ask you tonight to be my wife, to stay at my side ‘til the end of our days. To be the mother to my children. Please accept this ring as my promise to protect you always.” Julius smiles another tight lipped smile as he slides the ring onto Malinda’s finger.

Malinda smiles sadly as she looks at the ring. “Yes, Julius, I will accept the ring.” She looks up to find Julius watching her curiously, “Malinda, my dearest, are you in distress?” She shakes her head, maintaining her composure. “I…am not in distress, just eager to announce our engagement.”

Julius leans in toward Malinda, he breaths “May I kiss you?” His eyes are closed; Malinda realizes that although she has a deep well of feelings for Thomas, feelings remain for Julius. She does love him, but not in the manner he wishes or needs. Malinda squeezes Julius’s hand as an answer; he kisses Malinda with a passion she’s never felt from him before. He stands and takes her hand, prepared to make the announcement.

~~~~

Malinda waits in the park as dusk falls, she waiting for Sir Thomas, so that they may speak with Julius regarding their relationship. She cannot help but smile as she sees Thomas enter the park. Malinda’s heart breaks nightly as she is torn between her love for Thomas and the love she feels for Julius.

For Thomas, Malinda feels fiery passion. Her heart flutters at the very sight of him, her respirations accelerate, and she wants nothing more than to have him touch her.

For Julius, Malinda feels a different kind of love. She often wishes she could call Julius her brother. She enjoys time with him and she knows he would be a good father, but that is not enough.

Malinda sighs deeply as Thomas approaches; she pulls her jacket close, looking around the park. They are alone. She stands as Thomas sweeps her into his arms, resting her head against his chest. “Malinda, look at me, my dear.” Thomas lifts her chin, so he can look into her eyes, his smolder as he pulls her in for a kiss.

After several minutes alone in the park, Thomas hears a group approaching. “My love, it’s time.” Malinda and Thomas leave the park, several steps between them, Thomas behind to ensure Malinda’s safety.

As they entered the alley near to Julius’ hotel, Malinda pulled her bonnet closer, shielding her face, in an attempt to protect her identity. Nearing the hotel, she feels an arm slip around her waist, pulling her from the puddle of light created by the gas lamp. Malinda can hear Thomas’ quiet laugh as he pushes her gently against the wall. “One kiss my love…before we see Julius.” Thomas’ boldness is one of the many traits Malinda loves and she cannot help but melt in his arms.

Hesitantly, Malinda pulls away from Thomas, dreading what she must do next. She brushes her fingers gently across his lips before she glances at the hotel.

Her thoughts stop as she glimpses Julius standing in the window, watching Thomas and her. She can see the thunderclouds on his face, the bland expression gone.  Malinda realizes in that second that she must convince Thomas that this is not the night for him to be near Julius.

“Thomas,” Malinda gently pushes him away, “I fear this is something I must do alone.” Thomas is not happy to hear this new development. “My love, you should not do this alone.” Malinda endears him with a simple kiss. “Please go home, I will return in time.” Although Thomas is concerned, he trusts his love and knows she is capable of conversing with Julius.

Malinda watches until Thomas has hailed a carriage before she crosses the street. Silence has descended on ST. Ann Street. Julius exits the hotel, his rage evident from a distance away.

Malinda has never seen such strong emotion upon Julius’ face; she is surprised by his fierceness.

Malinda tries to calm her body, she is aware that Julius had witnessed the kiss between she and Thomas. “Where is he?!” Julius screams as he exits the hotel. Malinda cannot stop as the color drains from her face. “Julius, please, lower your voice.” She speaks in hushed tones as she glances down the street, although they are alone now, they will not be for long if Julius does not lower his voice. “Perhaps we can discuss inside?”

 I WILL NOT have you making a mockery of my good name Malinda.” Malinda cannot help but feel shocked as Julius backhands her. “Why?” He screams in anguish.

Malinda sees fury in his eyes as he bears down on her.

In an instant, she knows how deeply she has hurt Julius. “We did not plan this indiscretion. I did not want to you gain knowledge of my deeds in this manner, for that I am truly dismayed.”

Julius mutters to himself, “Why…What…how?” He continues to mutter as he lifts the gun, pointing it at Malinda’s chest.

Her eyes widen as she backs against the wall.
“Dismayed?!” Julius laughs darkly, “Madam, You have destroyed me.” Holding his head in his hand, the gun trembling, Julius seems lost, unsure.

Malinda cannot help, but reach out in an attempt to comfort him. “Julius,” she says blinking back tears, “I…I have nothing to say for myself.”

She cringes as Julius bats her hands away.

Julius stares at the ground. “You have ruined everything.” His voice quivers, “You ruined us.” Anger crosses his face and he raises the gun, pulling the trigger.

Malinda feels searing pain in her chest. Her eyes haven’t left Julius’; she feels as if she’s ripped his heart out of his chest. Her legs feel weak; she is unable to pull in a breath, “Ju…” The street seems darker as she slides down the wall. She wants to tell Julius that she loves him; she just cannot love him as he wants her too, but her thoughts are jumbled.

Distantly, she can hear Julius drop to his knees, he cries out “What have I done?”

Malinda reaches forward with her last strength. “Julius…I…lov…” She brushes his hand lightly as she takes her last breath.

~~~~

Several guests emerge, from the hotel, shortly after the second gunshot is heard; the guests are surprised to find fellow hotel guests dead. Julius is at Malinda’s feet. The concierge sends someone to find the constable, although the guests could discern what occurred here. After all, the flintlock was still in Julius’ hand.

~~~~

Thomas paces in his home, several blocks away. Malinda should have returned by now. Worry for her safety overwhelms all his thoughts. “Perhaps, I will venture out for a walk.”

Thomas starts off toward the hotel, eager to ensure that Malinda was safe. As he strides closer to St. Anne Street, Thomas can feel dread creeping in, why had he left her to speak with Julius alone?

He turns onto St. Ann Street, confused by the commotion in front of him. Thomas pushes his way through the crowd, trying to hear the murmurs around him.

As Thomas steps out of the crowd, he glances down to see two bodies in the street in front of him. His heart stops, what he was seeing could not be real. Thomas sags, dropping to his knees, the cobblestones cutting his skin. “Malinda?” He whispers.  The constable watches Thomas; the expression on his face is easy to read. “Sir?” The Constable approaches Thomas warily. “Sir, May I speak with you?” The constable seems to recognize the man in obvious mourning, “Sir Thomas Gallagher?” Thomas allows the Constable to assist him in standing before nodding very slightly.

Thomas follows the constable closer to the scene of the crime. “Yes, I am Sir Thomas Gallagher.” He watches the scene over the constable’s shoulder. It is Malinda, she is dead…She is gone from his life. Thomas blinks back tears. “Julius, what have you done?” Thomas whispers as he presses a hand to his forehead.

The Constable gives him a moment before speaking again. “Sir Thomas, You are acquainted with the victims?”

Thomas nods. “Yes, the male is Julius Armand and the woman,” Thomas gasps, “The woman is Malinda Addison, they were engaged to be wed.”

The constable listens to the grief in Thomas’ voice.“Good Sir, do you have any knowledge of why Mr. Armand would kill Ms. Addison?”

Thomas sinks to the curb, head in his hands, before he whispers, “I have no knowledge at all sir.”

Thomas sits at his desk in the hotel on St. Ann. He lost his love here only a year ago. His mourning is never-ending and as he writes of the events in his journal, his heart breaks completely again.

Thomas closes the book and stands in the small alcove in the hotel room. He picks up the book and tucks it under his arm. This is the very room where Julius discovered Malinda’s indiscretions. And this is the room where Thomas will put his feelings to rest. Perhaps by writing his thoughts and feelings in this journal, he will be able to move on from his past tragedies and live his life. Malinda will always be in his heart, but he needs to start living a life again.

Thomas steps down into the small area where he had stepped on the loose board. Before he puts his memories for Malinda and Julius away, he gazes out the small window, allowing tears to fall once more. “Malinda, I am sorry. I feel responsible for your death and for Julius’ death. You will always be in my heart dearest.”

Thomas kneels and pries the floor board up, slipping the journal under the board. He lifts his head quickly, feeling as if he is no longer alone.

Thomas drops the floorboard back as he gasps. He stands and watches as a flickering image of Julius crosses the room to pull the curtain back. Thomas can hear Julius’ voice, ghostly as it sounds…  “Sir Thomas…” Questioning in the faint voice, “Malinda?”

Thomas is witnessing the events prior to Malinda’s death; he cannot pull his eyes from Julius. He can sense Julius’ fury as he follows the ghostly figure down the backstairs. Julius exits the hotel with gun in hand.

Thomas is lost. He can see the ghostly figure of Malinda crossing the street. He watches as Malinda tries to calm Julius and watches as Julius backhands her.

Thomas closes his eyes tightly, knowing he cannot be witness to Malinda’s death. He would never be able to let her go. He hears her faint cry and opens her eyes to find himself alone on St. Ann Street.

Breana looks up from the journal, tears in her eyes. Another love story filled with sadness. She is sitting on the stairs in the tiny alcove where she found the journal of Sir Thomas Gallagher and finds herself remembering the strange missing time from both her and Jason’s vacation in New Orleans.

Were they possessed by Julius and Malinda? Their ghosts haunting this hotel and the French Quarter, unable to move on. Breana feels a tug at her heart, sadness once more permeating her heart. If only Malinda had been brave enough to tell Julius where her feelings lie, perhaps their story would have a different ending.

Breana stands up, wishing with all her heart that she had asked Jason to come with her.

She covers her mouth when she sees a gentleman standing in front of her. He is dressed in an old fashioned suit, his eyes focused on her. It is as if he has not seen another person in decades. “Malinda,” He breathes. Breana feels Goosebumps rise all over her body. “Malinda, I love you.” He breathes softly and Breana shivers. “I…I am…not Malinda.”

“Malinda,” Julius urges his voice ghostly. “You will be mine…”

Julius vanishes from before Breana’s eyes. 

Breana gathers her belongings and poofs back to the ranch and their tree.

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